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GV369 THE AMERICAN PRESIDENCY LECTURE 1. GV 369 1. WHY THE PRESIDENCY? 2. A UNITARY INSTITUTION - INTERNATIONAL COMPARISONS 3. APPROACHES TO THE STUDY.

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Presentation on theme: "GV369 THE AMERICAN PRESIDENCY LECTURE 1. GV 369 1. WHY THE PRESIDENCY? 2. A UNITARY INSTITUTION - INTERNATIONAL COMPARISONS 3. APPROACHES TO THE STUDY."— Presentation transcript:

1 GV369 THE AMERICAN PRESIDENCY LECTURE 1

2 GV WHY THE PRESIDENCY? 2. A UNITARY INSTITUTION - INTERNATIONAL COMPARISONS 3. APPROACHES TO THE STUDY OF THE PRESIDENCY - HISTORICAL - QUANITATIVE - BIOGRAPHICAL - THE BARGAINING MODEL - STRUCTURAL/ DEVELOPMENTAL APPROACHES - RADICAL APPROACHES 4. LEADERSHIP/PERSONALITY VERSUS STRUCTURE/HISTORICAL CONTEXT

3 THE PRESIDENCY AND THE CONSTITUTION 1. The crisis of the modern presidency – a constitutional problem? 2. Why in Crisis? - the separation of powers - selection process - burdens of the office – head of state, commander in chief, chief executive, moral leader, party leader, world leader - plebiscitary nature of the office 3. How many of these problems derive from the constitutional status of the office or from factors?

4 2. Original intent of Framers – areas of concern - Demagoguery –’extremist rhetoric that ministers to fear’ - examples administration not politics - Representation a) sense of people not the peoples’ collective capacity – electoral college selected by state legislatures and move to direct election b) Different lengths of terms corresponding to distance from people c) Authority and formal powers derive from constitution not the people d) Size and notion of the ‘Compound Republic’ - Independence if the P. and the separation of powers. Historical precedent – state governors weak in relation to state legislatures

5 Areas of contention - Executive privilege - Executive v legislative power – section 3.1 ‘ he shall recommend to their consideration decision such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient....’ - Veto power - Appointment power - Treaty power - Commander in Chief

6 4. Constitutional changes Very few only: 12, 1804 P and VP 20, 1933 – Lame duck session abolished 22, 1951 limited to 2 terms 25, 1967 reform of succession - although a number relating to the franchise

7 5. How has Presidency Changed? 1. Huge increase in executive power 2. Popular election and rise of plebiscitary presidency 3. Related – rise of party 4. International role BUT fundamentals of the separation of powers remains – the Constitution matters

8 GV 369 US PRESIDENCY LECTURE 3

9 A. the Founder’s intentions - above politics; twice removed from people; avoid demagoguery - separation of powers B. How it worked in practice: 1. Sporadic prominence, Presidential retreat Populism and progressivism, WW I and after 5. Retreat, Great depression and war,

10 C. Presidential prominence, Cold war, New world order Post 9/ D. Making sense of it all – Skowronek - Office is constitutionally unchanging but aptitudes of incumbent varies - Also society and polity constantly changing - Concept of Political Regime

11 SKOWRONEK’S SCHEMA President’s political identity Previously established Commitments Opposed Affiliated Vulnerable reconstruction Disjunction Resilient Pre-emption Articulation

12 Politics of Reconstruction- Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln, FDR Politics of Disjunction – Pierce, Buchanan, Hoover, Carter Politics of Articulation- Polk, T. Roosevelt, LBJ Politics of Pre-emption – A. Johnson, WW, RMN and…….

13 The Golden Rule: ‘As the POWER of all presidents to get things done has expanded the AUTHORITY to reproduce political ORDER has constricted.’ E. Critiquing Skowronek - Agency/structure problem -Only three regimes? - If permanent pre-emption then what explanatory power does it have?

14 US PRESIDENCY: LECTURE 3 OTHER APPROACHES A: THE TWO PRESIDENCIES THESIS ‘In the realm of foreign policy there has not been a single major issue on which presidents, when they were serious and determined, have failed.’ (Wildavsky, 1966) - UN; Marshall plan; NATO; Truman Doctrine (containment); Indo China (1954) and in 1964 Why? - Ubiquity and strength of threat -Power to act C in C -Inability of Congress to contain P

15 Competitors for control of policy - all are weak vis a vis P - the public - special interests - Congress - military - State department How complete is control? EIGHT YEARS LATER - status of Cold War - War powers Act - VN effect - Distinction between foreign and domestic policy blurring

16 B Since 1970s – thesis has to be modified four main periods: presidents in retreat Reagan ascendant New World Order? limits of presidential FP & domestic power Constants Congress and divided government; use of troops abroad; budget power; treaty power

17 C. THE POST MODERN PRESIDENT Traditional President ‘Do nothing’ presidents (except in war) - size of federal government - no institutional president - Few treaties/foreign entanglements The Modern Presidency c hief legislator - active in promoting US interests abroad - visible national leader - command of resources - secretariat - near hegemony

18 Post Modern Presidency 1969 – - White House resources are limited - Foreign (global) influences restrict freedom - P.O. fickle, not so manipulable - Congress more assertive Criticisms - Traditional P. is a caricature - Lines between traditional and post modern are blurred - Is international dimension the real key? Moral issues, polarisation

19 PERSONALITY AND THE PRESIDENCY 1. Personality and political leaders 2. Eysenck and Adorno – authoritarian personality – but cannot apply in US - But personality is one independent variable among several 3. Greenstein 1967 article – objections to using personality as a variable

20 a.Personality randomly distributed, but…. b.Personalities less NB than social characteristics, but… c.Actors are limited by events and context d.People with different traits will not behave differently in common situations, but… e.‘Deep psychological needs do not affect behaviour, but….

21 4. Personality and the study of the presidency - work of Alexander George - Barber’s Presidential Character Two Measures: Emotional satisfaction from job and Energy invested in the job Leads to a four way characterisation of presidents

22 Active Positive Active Negative Passive Positive Passive Negative -Origins of the personality traits Critique a.‘psychologism’ – just four types b.events v.personality c.Four ‘ baddies’ very different d.Today just 2 types – or even one!

23 Greenstein’s cautious approach - Public communication - Organizational capacity - Political Skill - Vision - Cognitive style - Emotional intelligence 5. Summing it all up


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